Former LA Rams LB Coach Joe Barry skips Chargers to take on Packers DC role
By Bret Stuter
From the LA Rams News: There is a report that another LA Rams former coach is on the move. Thankfully, this time he is jumping ship from the LA Chargers, and not the Rams. Let me explain.
The LA Rams have had a historically high number of defections from the ranks of coaches and executives this year. At first, it seemed as though the exodus was solely to put the Rams in the rearview mirror for talented coaches and football professionals. But the defections took on patterns. Two distinct patterns that we detected.
The first was the departure of several key offensive coaches who had strong ties to the LA Rams former quarterback Jared Goff. Much like the departure of former RB coach Skip Peete was the harbinger of the Rams eventually waiving running back Todd Gurley, the team seemed to clear the deck of coaches who worked closely with Goff, and who have had some loyalty to him. And true to form, the Rams did eventually trade Goff to the Detroit Lions.
The other gate for outbound coaches on the defensive side of the ball seemed to center on previous positional coaches who were interviewed for the defensive coordinator position. Three coaches are known to have interviewed for the defensive coordinator role in 2020. Of course, Brandon Staley landed the role. But cornerback coach Aubrey Pleasant also interviewed for the role. This year, he agreed to fill the secondary coach role with the Detroit Lions.
The third positional coach to interview a year ago was assistant head coach/linebacker coach Joe Barry. When the Rams learned of Brandon Staley’s agreement to become the head coach of the Los Angeles Chargers, the Rams immediately went to work to fill Staley’s vacant position.
The Rams hired Raheem Morris as the new defensive coordinator. Two years, two times passed over for both Pleasant and Barry. So Barry agreed to follow Staley to the Chargers to become their pass defense coordinator. But that didn’t last. You see, Barry wanted to land a defensive coordinator position, and he finally got his chance:
Barry is a seasoned veteran in the NFL. He’s been coaching for nearly 30 years and has the experience of both linebackers coach as well as defensive coordinator. His expertise has never been questioned as a linebacker’s coach. He is thorough, disciplined, intelligent, motivational, and driven to coach and develop linebackers.
So far, that expertise has simply not translated into success in running the entire defense. But Packers head coach Matt Le Fleur hopes that is all water under the bridge.
LeFleur fired former DC Mike Pettine and has since hired on Joe Barry. Of course, turnabout is fair play, and we’ve lobbied for the Rams to hire Pettine as linebackers coach as quickly as possible.
Barry’s double jump move may have hurt the LA Rams coaching staff, but the quick exodus out of Staley’s coaching staff assembly for the Chargers is pretty curious. In short, Barry gave nothing more than a quick wave hello and then goodbye on his way out to Green Bay.
The move now places the third NFL team in direct bidding for LA Rams defensive players who are about to test the 2021 NFL Free Agency market. That is why it is so critical for the team to employ both the qualifying first-round tender offer and franchise tag on defensive players this year. The Rams need to retain defensive stars. And it’s vital that they do not lose key players to the teams of former popular coaches this year.